PhD Position in Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities

Trondheim, Norway
14 Jan 2020
End of advertisement period
31 Jan 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

This is NTNU

At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 000 employees and 40 000 students.

We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.   

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD position in Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities – Decision-making processes and mechanisms in smart and sustainable urban development

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim represents academic eminence in technology and the natural sciences as well as in other academic disciplines ranging from the social sciences, the arts, medicine, teacher education, architecture to fine art. Cross-disciplinary cooperation results in innovative breakthroughs and creative solutions with far-reaching social and economic impact.

We have a vacancy for a PhD position at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The NTNU got the project CaPs-Citizens as Pilots for Smart Cities (Nordforsk, 2020-2023). One of the goals is focusing on identification and analysis of relevant decision-making processes and mechanisms in smart and sustainable urban development, especially focused on citizen engagement and co-creation. Furthermore, it focuses both on processes and mechanisms in which citizens are currently involved, as well as processes and mechanisms through which citizens could contribute in the future, provided the opportunity to do so.  

The main challenge addressed in the CaPs project is how to support smart and sustainable urban development that is based on the ideas and inputs of citizens. The long-term objective to promote smart and sustainable urban development, could be achieved by increasing citizen participation in relevant decision-making processes, based on the new co-creative role of citizens.

Part of the comprehensive research within the project will include a qualitative and quantitative research methodology: semi-structured interviews with facility managers; semi-structured interviews municipal-decision makers; participatory design workshops and various analysis: content analysis, cross-case comparison, construction of a testable solution.

Furthermore, the comprehensive research will include bottom-up approach, so it is important to have a good insight in Norwegian construction industry as well as good communication and adaptation skills to be able to reach out to audiences with different backgrounds, including non-experts (ie citizens).

Suitable background (master degree) of the applicants would be within Facility Management/ Project Management/ Real estate management/ Building engineering/ Urbanism and Architecture. The PhD applicant is expected to carry out theoretical development and extensive research work. Good co­operation abilities with actors from different disciplines will be emphasized. Knowledge and experience in the fields of citizen engagement, co-creation processes and tools will be highly valued. Knowledge of the digital technologies used in construction and urban development (BIM, CIM, GIS) is also beneficial.

The position reports to Head of Department

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Qualitative and quantitative research
  • Reporting and Scientific publication

Qualification requirements

PhD candidate:

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in scientific researching or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Other qualifications

  • Good knowledge of Urban Facility Management field
  • Good knowledge of sustainable principles
  • Relevant experience in citizen engagement, co-creation processes and tools
  • Good understanding of the connection between technology, process and human interaction
  • Good cooperation abilities with actors from different disciplines
  • Good communication skills including with non-expert stakeholders
  • Good digital solutions skills (BIM, CIM, GIS)
  • Good knowledge of the Norwegian BAE industry in general
  • Excellent oral and written presentation abilities in English as well as good knowledge of one of the Scandinavian languages.

Personal characteristics

  • Team worker
  • Innovation driven
  • Creative
  • Strong ability to take initiative

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidate:

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years without required duties. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Civil Engineering. 

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criterias in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

The national labour force must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent, NTNU wants to increase the proportion of women in its scientific posts. Women are encouraged to apply. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life ( Having a population of 200 000, Trondheim is a small city by international standards with low crime rates and little pollution. It also has easy access to a beautiful countryside with mountains and a dramatic coastline.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Alenka Temeljotov Salaj, phone number +47 464 45 072, e-mail

About the application:

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI):

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-12/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.01.2020

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

We conduct research and teaching in civil and transportation engineering, technical planning, structural engineering, water and wastewater engineering and hydraulic engineering. Graduates from our programmes become employees – in both the public and private sectors – with a sustainability mindset combined with competitive knowledge and skills. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 31st January 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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